Illinois

Opportunities and Challenges for States in 2019 | 12-14-2018

In the third and final of our annual three-part series looking ahead to the coming legislative year, SNCJ Senior Advisor Lou Cannon takes a look at some of the challenges and opportunities that await lawmakers in 2019. This is also our final issue...

More States Under Unified One-Party Control in 2019 | 12-14-2018

As a result of the November elections, in 2019 Republicans will control both the legislature and the governor’s office in 23 states, three less than the number of states under unified GOP control this year. Democrats will control the legislative...

Devil in the Details | 12-14-2018

Visitors to the Illinois statehouse this month will be greeted by all the usual pageantry of the holiday season: Christmas decorations, a nativity scene, a Menorah and a display from the Chicago chapter of the Satanic Temple. Wait, what? Old Ned himself...

Governors in Brief - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

NORTHAM WINS NC GOV BALANCE OF POWER BATTLE A NORTH CAROLINA court ruled last week that the GOP-controlled General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to pick the leadership of the state Industrial Commission before he...

Blockchain, Cybersecurity Will Challenge Lawmakers in 2019 | 11-30-2018

SNCJ devotes the last three issues of each year to a preview of the coming state legislative sessions. Here in part one of that three-part series we’ll take a look at a few of the issues that are likely to draw the attention of state lawmakers next...

Record Spending in States | 11-30-2018

Total spending across all 50 states last fiscal year exceeded $2 trillion, a new high, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers . The record spending was driven largely by a bump in income tax revenues, resulting from last year’s...

Health & Science - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

IL Governor Vetoes SB 2332 The ILLINOIS House fails to override a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) of SB 2332 , a bill that would have raised the legal smoking age to 21 (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES).

Now That Was Just Dumb | 11-30-2018

Politics has always driven intense emotions. Some would say now more so than ever, while others might counter that it has always been this way and we just know more of what is said and done than we used to. For example, like when Illinois state Rep. Stephanie...

Hickenlooper Has Advice for IL on Weed | 11-16-2018

With Gov.–Elect J.B. Pritzker (D) expressing interest in working quickly to decriminalize cannabis in the Prairie State, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) took time last week to offer his fellow Dem some advice on how to keep it all from going...

Democrats Gain in State Elections | 11-09-2018

Buoyed by the votes of suburban women and independents, Democrats gained hard-won ground in the nation’s statehouses in Tuesday’s midterm election. Democrats won seven governorships and six legislative chambers previously held...

Show Me a Good Loser and I’ll Show You a Loser | 11-09-2018

A slew of ex-jocks had a good Election Day this year. As Pro Football Talk reports , former NFL linebacker Napoleon Harris retained his seat in the Illinois Senate, while Green Bay Packer safety Aaron Rouse, late of the Green Bay Packers, kept his seat...

More Democratic Women Candidates Than Republican Ones in Most States | 11-02-2018

Of the 3,388 women running for legislative office in 46 states this year, 70 percent are Democrats. In 19 of those states, there are about twice as many Democratic female candidates as Republican ones. In 15 states, there are three times more. In five...

The Local Front - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

The Chicago City Council rejects a proposal that would have given an elected board power over the city’s police agencies, including authority to investigate and fire officers found guilty of wrongdoing (CHICAGO TRIBUNE). The AURORA City Council...

Democrats Seem Poised for State Election Gains | 10-19-2018

The pendulum of politics that in many states has swung Republican for the last eight years appears to be heading in a Democratic direction in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Nonpartisan analysts and pollsters give Democrats a solid chance to win nine...

Election Cybersecurity Left to States | 10-19-2018

During the last U.S. election cycle two years ago, at least 21 states were targeted by foreign hackers, according to the Department of Homeland Security. And with Congress having done little to address the issue other than authorizing $380 million to...

States Seek to Maintain Net Neutrality | 10-12-2018

At least 32 states have introduced legislation this year that would require internet service providers to uphold net neutrality principles, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net . Many of those...

Federal Gas Tax Hasn’t Been Raised for 25 Years | 10-12-2018

Oct. 1 was the 25th anniversary of the last time Congress increased the federal gas tax, the primary source of federal funding for highway and transit projects across the country. The tax has stood at 18.4 cents per gallon for unleaded fuel and 23.4 cents...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

State Lawmakers Taking More Interest in Cryptocurrencies | 10-05-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy goods and services, pay bills, gamble online, transfer money internationally and as an investment vehicle, among other things. And that activity is drawing more attention...

More State Cryptocurrency Legislation in 2018 | 10-05-2018

At least 21 states have introduced bills or resolutions dealing with digital currencies in 2018, about double the number of states that did so last year, according to analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State Net....

State’s Age Impacts Fiscal Health | 10-05-2018

The older a state is, the more likely it is to have fiscal problems. That’s one of the findings of an analysis of state fiscal health by William Bergman, director of research for Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in...

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

Many States Taken Action but Many Yet to Act on Wayfair Ruling | 09-07-2018

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that a law passed by South Dakota had freed it from a longstanding legal precedent barring states from imposing sales taxes on internet and mail-order retailers that did not have a physical presence within their...

Other Options for States on SALT Cap | 09-07-2018

After the state and local tax (SALT) deduction was capped at $10,000 as part of the federal tax overhaul last December, high-tax states immediately began looking for ways for their residents to avoid a big bump in their federal tax burdens. Connecticut...

Education - September 10 2018 | 09-07-2018

IL Governor Signs SB 2428 ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs SB 2428 , which bars Prairie State schools from punishing or publicly humiliating children who cannot pay for a school lunch. The measure further requires schools to provide a lunch to...

Budgets in Brief - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

ND EXPECTED TO TAKE $4.9M HIT FROM FEDERAL TAX REFORM As a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, NORTH DAKOTA will take in $4.9 million less in state income taxes in the two-year budget cycle that ends June 30, 2019, according to analysis by...

Politics in Brief - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

PUSH IN VA TO RATIFY ERA Advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment launched a campaign in VIRGINIA this month to make that state the 38th and final one to ratify the amendment guaranteeing equal rights for all Americans regardless of sex more than 40...

Business - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

IL GOVERNOR VETOES BILL FOR CAR SHARING ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) vetoes a bill that would have required peer-to-peer car sharing companies to generally follow the same rules and pay the same taxes as traditional car rental companies. The veto...

Health & Science - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

CA PASSES LAW TO BAN CERTAIN TYPES OF HEALTH INSURANCE CALIFORNIA lawmakers pass and send to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) legislation that bans certain types of health insurance policies known as “short-term” plans, or “junk insurance”...

Slow Progress on Public Pension Reform | 08-17-2018

The economy is on a tear, with the national growth rate high and unemployment low. Eighty percent of U.S. companies have reported earnings that exceed Wall Street forecasts. City and state revenues are surging, as the Great Recession fades in the rear...

Local Election Officials in Tough Spot on Cybersecurity | 08-17-2018

Cybersecurity has local election officials across the country caught between a rock and a hard place, according to those gathered at the annual DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas this month. They said they don’t have the knowledge or the resources...

Business - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

MA Governor Vetoes Section of HB 4732 MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) vetoes a section of a $1.1 billion economic development package ( HB 4732 ) that would have barred “bad faith” allegations of patent infringement by so-called “patent...

Governors in Brief - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

SCOTT DECLARES FL ALGAE EMERGENCY FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) declared a state of emergency last week after a growing “red tide” algae bloom left Sunshine State beaches covered with dead fish and marine animals. His declaration will make...

Energy - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

IL Governor Signs SB 486 and SB 2591 ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs two solar energy bills: SB 486 , which creates a standard tax assessment value for Prairie State solar farms, and SB 2591 , which sets standards for the construction and deconstruction...

Environment - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

IL Governor Signs HB 4843 ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs HB 4843 , which makes it a crime to import, sell, buy or trade any ivory or rhino horn within the Prairie State. (ILLINOIS GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)

Health & Science - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

IL Governor Signs HB 5245 ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs HB 5245 , legislation that requires hospitals to train enough medical providers in how to treat sexual assault patients that when a victim arrives, a trained provider is present within...

For The Love of Puppies | 08-10-2018

Candidates often spar over which one loves certain things more than the other. The object of that affection in recent years has often been guns, but as the Chicago Tribune reports the Illinois governor’s race might hinge on something far more interesting...

Budgets in Brief - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

ONLINE SALES TAX PLAN FAILS IN NH In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair , allowing states to collect sales taxes from online sellers located out-of-state, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate, meeting in special session...

Governors in Brief - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

DEM GOVS OPPOSE TITLE IX CHANGES COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) joined a handful of other Democratic governors in opposing the Trump administration’s plans to ensure that no federal Title IX money is used to pay for abortions. Hickenlooper...

Health and Science - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

MA Endorses HB 4866 and Signs HB 2515 The MASSACHUSETTS House and Senate endorse HB 4866 , which would establish a statewide standing prescription for the overdose-reversal drug naloxone. The measure, which also allows local governments to exchange...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

Standing Aside or Standing in the Way | 07-20-2018

Federal courts continue to frustrate the Trump administration’s efforts to punish cities and states that oppose its hardline immigration policies. Earlier this month Sacramento-based U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez rejected most of the...

The Social Policy - July 23 2018 | 07-20-2018

Federal Judge Issues Order A federal judge issues an order barring LOUISIANA from carrying out any executions for at least one more year while litigation over the state’s method of carrying out lethal injection sentences is being challenged in...

Fair Percentage of Airbnb Rentals Full-Time | 07-13-2018

According to a 2016 analysis of Airbnb booking data by the website fivethirtyeight.com, among the 25 cities with the largest Airbnb markets at that time, Honolulu, Hawaii had the highest percentage of active listings that were rented at least 180 days...

Governors in Brief - July 16 2018 | 07-13-2018

DUCEY DECRIES ‘RECKLESS’ CALLS TO ABOLISH ICE In an op-ed in USA Today last week, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said calls from a growing number of Democratic officials to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency were “reckless”...

Legislative Efforts to Arm Teachers Bog Down in States in 2018 | 07-06-2018

At least 20 bills dealing with the arming of teachers and other school employees have been introduced in 12 states since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, according to legislative information...

Governors in Brief - July 9 2018 | 07-06-2018

WALKER SIGNS AK RAPE KIT BILL Saying the Last Frontier has over 3,500 untested rape kits awaiting processing, ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) signed a bill that requires local police to report to the state annually the number of untested sexual assault...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

States Cracking Down on Plastic Straws and Polystyrene Containers | 06-29-2018

At least 11 states have introduced bills this session related to polystyrene food or beverage containers, most of them prohibiting their use, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative information system. Five of those states have also introduced...

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...